Last week Khebz W Meleh (formally known as The Feast in Lebanon) kicked off a new 6-session youth encounter programme between two schools in Sidon, about an hour drive south of Beirut. One school is Sunni Muslim, the other Greek Catholic, with each hosting the two hour long after-school sessions each fortnight.
Manal el Tayer from KwM has developed the course curriculum, and trained up teachers in each school, Khaled and Ramona, to recruit and support their students and then facilitate the programme.
The first afternoon included sharing names (as well as the meaning of their names), breaking the ice, a logo game in mixed groups, dinner – a feast by UK standards – and creating posters to described their identity. A key part of course was an introduction to KwM’s values, also known as our Guidelines for Dialogue, where students were asked to select one that meant a lot to them and share why.
Over the next two months the students and their teachers will get to know each other a lot better, sharing much more about their faiths and communities, be challenged on deeper issues of their similarities and differences, and culminating in a social action initiative together.